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How we responded to COVID-19


On budget and ahead of schedule:
1.2 million face shields made & delivered to Nova Scotia's frontlines


July 24, 2020

Four weeks ahead of schedule, our incredible Face Shield Assembly Team -- comprised of more than 40 people who left the safety of their homes during a lockdown to protect healthcare workers on Nova Scotia's frontlines -- delivered on over 1.2 million face shields from our temporary assembly line facility set up in the gymnasiums at Prince Andrew High in Dartmouth. 

We have so many people to thank, and plans to do so in tangible ways once we get our post-emergency PPE feet solidly beneath us.

More to come.

Keith Doucette Feature Story Covid19 Fac

N.S. company who pivoted to face shields sees future for local PPE


May 27, 2020
Feature story by Keith Doucette, Canadian Press

A small Nova Scotia company that retooled to make medical face shields for the province's health-care system says it is exceeding its own manufacturing target more than a month into the fledgling venture.

MacKenzie Atlantic, located in Musquodoboit Harbour, signed an agreement in mid-April to provide shields for the Nova Scotia Health Authority and the IWK Health Centre to help boost supply during the COVID-19 outbreak.

MacKenzie, a machine shop that typically manufactures items for the defence sector, was tapped to produce one million face shields for the health authority and 100,000 for the IWK. The company aimed to eventually increase production to 70,000 shields per week.

"We are producing about 90,000 face shields a week right now," owner Matthew MacKenzie said in a recent interview... READ FULL STORY

MacKenzie Atlantic to produce more than one million face shields for NSHA, IWK


Tuesday, April 14, 2020 - 11:54AM


MacKenzie Atlantic of Musquodoboit Harbour will produce one million face shields for use by Nova Scotia Health Authority staff and physicians. The company has an additional contract to produce 100,000 shields for the IWK Health Centre.

Face shields are a key piece of the equipment required to protect staff working in environments where patients with possible or confirmed COVID-19 or certain other infectious disease are present.

An initial delivery of shields is expected next week, with production expected to escalate to 70,000 shields per week.

“When we realized we could put our manufacturing experience and supply chain contacts to good use to supply one of the items in critical demand, we knew we had to help,” said Carmen MacKenzie, co-owner of MacKenzie Atlantic. “In less than three weeks, our team designed a basic prototype, sourced and secured raw material, designed a socially distanced assembly line, built jigs, fixtures and tools for 37 temporary work stations, lined up partnerships with amazing local suppliers, secured a school for our assembly area, and recruited and trained over a dozen staff to start production.” 
As a supplier to the defense sector, MacKenzie Atlantic has taken on this initiative on top of the work their 26 full-time staff continue to carry out for their ongoing defense customers.

“It’s a monumental effort,” said MacKenzie, “but helping to protect the frontlines is the most important thing we could be doing right now.”

NSHA’s response to the COVID-19 will result in a higher demand for face shields and other personal protective equipment compared to regular operations, but this new contract with MacKenzie Atlantic will help ensure we have a stable supply of face shields to last through the pandemic, said Dr. Alex Mitchell, medical lead for the provincial Personal Protective Equipment Working Group.

“We’re grateful to manufacturers like MacKenzie Atlantic for stepping up to meet the needs of our health care staff in an unprecedented time,” he said. “Given worldwide competition to acquire personal protective equipment and the supply chain disruptions that have come with the pandemic, having a home-grown supplier gives us additional confidence staff will have the right gear at the right times.”

Prototypes of the MacKenzie face shield have been approved by NSHA clinical staff, and NSHA’s infection prevention and control team will provide advice on the manufacturing configuration and standards to keep MacKenzie staff involved in producing the shields as safe as possible.

The contract runs to the end of August. NSHA has an additional face shield contract with BBI Group of New Brunswick.


Media Contact:
Provincial media line: 1-844-483-3344 

MacKenzie Atlantic is ISO 9001:2015 certified and has stringent quality controls. The shop’s 20,000 sq ft main facility is already set up with the necessary measures to meet Nova Scotia’s health protection rules for businesses during the State of Emergency. 


MacKenzie Atlantic prototypes face shield for Covid-19 frontlines, but suppliers warn materials running low


UPDATE March 27, 2020


We have been working on overdrive this week to make sure Nova Scotia has face shields for frontline healthcare workers in the weeks and months ahead.


Our team has secured raw materials amid global market shortages, is building a die for mass production, and will be preparing an assembly area over the weekend.


We aim to be in production of face shields for healthcare workers next week. Please understand: we strongly believe that healthcare workers who are dealing with sick patients, including those already infected with Covid19, are *most at risk* of infection. Therefore, our #1 priority will be to supply the hospital and first responder frontlines.

UPDATE March 26, 2020


Suppliers are warning that U.S. companies are buying up mass shipments of the material needed to make these face shields. Provincial/federal governments: we must act now & place orders if we want to secure materials before they run out globally.


March 25, 2020

MacKenzie Atlantic has designed, sourced material for, and built a prototype of an inexpensive face shield that could be used on the frontlines of the fight against Covid-19. 


The face shields are inexpensive, lightweight, fully adjustable and can be mass produced just outside Halifax, Nova Scotia. 


Company owner Matthew MacKenzie says the shop could start producing them within a week of an order, and has the capacity to produce 15,000 to 30,000 per week for hospitals, firefighters, police and other frontline service providers. These volumes would create additional short-term employment for local residents who may have recently lost employment due to business closures.


”We can design and mass produce almost anything made from either plastic or metal, and we’re geared up to run large quantities, quickly, with strict quality controls,” says MacKenzie. “Even aluminum emergency cot frames if hospitals need more temporary beds in a pinch.”


MacKenzie Atlantic is ISO 9001:2015 certified and has stringent quality controls. The shop’s 20,000 sq ft main facility is already set up with the necessary measures to meet Nova Scotia’s health protection rules for businesses during the State of Emergency. 


“If there’s a way we can help support the frontlines and our communities in the fight against this disease,” MacKenzie says, “we’re there.”

New protective measures in place, adhering to Nova Scotia COVID-19 rules


Sunday, March 22, 2020


Musquodoboit Harbour, N.S. — With a State of Emergency declared today in Nova Scotia, MacKenzie Atlantic will be putting additional physical distancing measures in place to ensure the health and safety of our employees. The health and safety of our employees is our top priority. 


The Nova Scotia Government states: “Any workplace or business that is not deemed essential (or not already required to be closed) can remain open as long as a two-metre (6 foot) distance can be maintained.”


Thankfully, our 26 employees have 25,000 square feet of shop space in which to carry out their work, and our main facility in Musquodoboit Harbour was originally designed to hold six different businesses, each with its own entrance and emergency exit, bay door and washroom.


With the following additional measures in place, we are confident that we can continue our work for the national and international defence sectors while maintaining the physical distancing rules to keep everyone safe.


Effective immediately, the following additional protective measures will be in place:


  • Each of our six (6) bays will be separated into its own self-contained zone.

  • A maximum of five (5) employees will be permitted in each zone at any given time with employees using that zone’s entrance/exit and washroom.

  • Breaks and lunches will be staggered

  • No more than three (3) people will be allowed in the lunch room at a time, and employees are encouraged to continue eating outdoors or in their vehicles or in their zone, maintaining a minimum of 6 feet between them and others.

  • Administrative staff who can work from home are permitted to do so.


Our facilities remain closed to the public, and we have indefinitely postponed shop tours for customers and media to see newly installed robotics equipment. 


We continue to:


  • Enforce self-isolation requirements for employees and family members returning from abroad

  • Remind each other of hand washing protocols

  • Routinely disinfect door knobs and surfaces throughout the day

  • Monitor Covid-19 updates for changes to workplace rules and recommendations


We have also reached out to elected officials to let them know our equipment can be retooled at a moment’s notice to manufacture any medical or emergency supplies that may be necessary or in short supply.


We stand ready to provide any support we can.


We're all in this together.

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